Natalie Young's Chow is more than a good restaurant—it's an incubator for culinary talent.
At Chow, chef Natalie Young is mentoring a group of “soldier” interns.
Giving back is embedded in chef Natalie Young’s DNA. The owner of Downtown’s hotspot EAT and new Chinese and chicken joint Chow, Young has gotten a couple of generous breaks herself in her time, and now she’s passing it on.
She recently teamed with West Prep’s Core Academy to form a culinary internship program for 16 high schoolers. Starting from the ground up (think busboy to dishwasher to, eventually, line cook), “We teach them the five mother sauces, how to break down a whole fish, and how to be soldiers in the kitchen,” Young says. “Even if they don’t decide to be chefs, the things that I’m teaching will help them throughout their lives. Our first class covered how to fill out a job application, what to wear, and how to shake somebody’s hand.”
The kids work with Young three days a week. “One girl that I was teaching how to be a hostess told me, ‘I can’t do it.’ I sat the group down and said, ‘Can’t is not an option. You don’t quit when somebody gives you constructive criticism,’” Young says.
What’s next? “I want to make this program available to felons and under-served kids,” she says. “Everything I wanted, I have. The way that I find happiness is by helping others.” 102 Fremont St., 702-998-0574